Upper Limbs Interactive Learning Objects

Publication ID Published Volume
7879 October 27, 2010 6


Introduction: This is a collection of 86 self-test exercises related to upper limb anatomy including, upper arm, upper back, cubital fossa, forearm, hand, rotator cuff, and scapular-humeral mechanism. All learning objects are anchored in learning objectives and are interactive, requiring learners to process information and make decisions. These are intended to accompany undergraduate anatomy courses and be used by instructors and students in premedical, predental, nursing, and other health care-related curricula. Methods: For each area of anatomy, students may select from a range of exercises including short-answer, matching, and multiple-choice questions. The modules use Flash software to enable a high level of learner interaction with the content, such as the ability to drag-and-drop anatomical structures on line drawings, and checkboxes with structure names for anatomical structure identification on dissected cadavers. In addition, learners may navigate through an upper limb case study that requires student feedback in order to progress through the cases. Immediate feedback is provided to the learner upon selection of a structure in order to reinforce the learning. Discussion: Although no formal study of effectiveness has been conducted, anecdotal evidence indicates that students value and appreciate the interactive learning modules. Discussion: The module successfully achieves true interactivity in the educational context, as it both challenges learners to cognitively process basic science information in order to make a decision, and provides immediate feedback about that decision. The Adobe Flash plug-in was chosen as the deployment tool because it was ubiquitous across computer platforms, suitable for the development task, and the necessary expertise was available.


Walker E, Allen E, Kraszpulska B, Billings H. Upper limbs interactive learning objects. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7879. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7879

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify structures of the upper-limb appendicular skeleton.
  2. Recognize the compartments of arm, forearm, and hand.
  3. Become familiar with the major muscles, nerves, arteries, and veins in each module.
  4. Have a working knowledge of the synovial joints: shoulder, elbow, and wrist.


  • Computer-Assisted Instruction, Upper Extremity, Cadaver

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

  • Walker E, Kraszpulska B, Allen E, Gomes A. Health sciences e-education: teaching virtual anatomy labs. Peer reviewed and presented at: Fourth Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning; October 30 - Novevmber 3, 2006; Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
  • Walker ER, Kraszpulska B, Altemus J, Allen E, Klinkhachorn P, Ressetar H, Beresford W. Virtual anatomy labs for pre-professional health sciences students. Poster presented at: American Association of Anatomists; April 2007; Washington DC.

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